Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center

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Research at the Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center focuses on providing the scientific understanding and technologies needed to support and implement sound management and conservation of our Nation's biological resources occurring in Hawai'i and other Pacific island locations.

Spotlight on Research

Spotlight on Research

Learn more about how researchers are tracking how rare plants are responding to changing environmental conditions.

Plant Responses

Featured Scientist

Featured Scientist

PIERC Microbiologist Dr. Carter Atkinson is using new tools to detect emerging threats and rare species in Pacific Island ecosystems.

Atkinson Research

News

Date published: June 8, 2018

Keeping Track of "Caly"

Caly isn't likely to wonder off off, but with a remote camera and monitoring station online 24-hours a day, USGS and partners at the State of Hawai‘i Division of Forestry and Wildlife, University of Hawai‘i, and the USFWS can learn how an extremely rare plant is responding to changes in environmental conditions.

Date published: November 22, 2017

Sniffing Out Better Tools for Addressing Avian Botulism

Dogs have great olfactory abilities and wildlife biologists think they can help endangered waterbirds in Hawai‘i. Dogs are being trained to sniff out the endangered ducks (koloa maoli (Anas wyvilliana) and Laysan ducks (A. laysanensis)) that die of avian botulism. 

Date published: July 10, 2017

Hawaiian Birds Rapidly Colonize Young Restoration Forest

Forest birds on the island of Hawaii are responding positively to being restored in one of the largest, ongoing reforestation projects at Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge, according to a new study released July 10 in the journal Restoration Ecology.

Publications

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Year Published: 2019

Hawaiian hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus semotus) activity, diet and prey availability at the Waihou Mitigation Area, Maui

Habitat use, diet, prey availability, and foraging ecology of the endangered Hawaiian hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus semotus, Vespertilionidae), was examined in the east Maui region inclusive of the Waihou Mitigation Area, Pu‘u Makua Restoration Area and the wind energy facility operated by Auwahi Wind Energy, LLC. The study was conducted to inform...

Pinzari, Corinna A.; Peck, Robert W; Zinn, Terry; Gross, Danielle; Montoya-Aiona, Kristina; Brinck, Kevin W.; Gorresen, Paulo Marcos; Bonaccorso, Frank J

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Year Published: 2019

The evolving threat of rapid Ohia death (ROD) to Hawaii’s native ecosystems and rare plant species

Hawai‘i’s most widespread native tree, ‘ōhi‘a lehua (Metrosideros polymorpha), has been dying across large areas of Hawai‘i Island mainly due to two fungal pathogens (Ceratocystis lukuohia and Ceratocystis huliohia) that cause a disease collectively known as Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death (ROD). Here we examine patterns of positive detections of...

Fortini, Lucas B.; Kaiser, Lauren R.; Keith, Lisa; Price, Jonathan; Hughes, R. Flint; Jacobi, James D.; Friday, J. B.

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Year Published: 2019

Evaluating community-level response to management actions across a diverse Hawaiian forest bird community

Although species‐specific approaches are necessary to understand the dynamics of individual species composing a community, they do not offer a framework for making optimal management decisions at the community level. Here, we present a simple framework for comparing the response of entire communities to multiple management scenarios. Our approach...

Guillaumet, Alban; Paxton, Eben H.